Rice Theatre

323 N. Parkerson Avenue,
Crowley, LA 70526

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Rice Theatre

The Rice Theatre opened January 31, 1941 (after a delay in construction in 1940 due to flooding) at a cost of about $100,000. The opening movie was Rosalind Russell in “This Thing Called Love”. The 1,000-seat Art Moderne style theatre seated 700 on the orchestra level and another 300 in the balcony. The theatre closed in late-October 1983, and remained vacant for almost 20 years, before the Rice Theatre was acquired by the city of Crowley in 1986 for the Rice City Civic Center (“The Rice City” being Crowley’s nickname).

Thousands of dollars have been put into the theatre’s restoration, which is ongoing as funds permit, including a new roof, stage, carpeting, paint, curtains, lighting and sound, and restrooms. The marquee and murals on the south and north walls were also restored to their original appearance.

Today, the historic Rice Theatre hosts live entertainment and concerts, including country, Gospel, and Cajun music.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

SchineHistorian on January 5, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Does anyone know what the INSIDE of this theater looks like? I am heading for New Orleans this weekend and would not mind a little jaunt to Crowley if it is worth seeing. Having a tough time finding info on the internet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 28, 2011 at 3:04 am

The records of the Lake Charles, Louisiana, architectural firm Dunn & Quinn list many theater projects for the Southern Amusement Company during the 1930s and 1940s. A new theater at Crowley, dated July, 1940, is among them. The theater’s name is not given but it must be the Rice Theatre, as that appears to have been the only new theater built in Crowley in 1940.

Chris1982 on January 28, 2015 at 8:55 am

The Rice Theatre opened on January 31, 1941, with the film “This Thing Called Love” for Southern Amusement Co.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 4, 2015 at 8:19 am

An article about Crowley’s theaters in the June 16, 2013, issue of The Crowley Post-Signal (PDF here) says that the Rice Theatre had its last show as a movie theater in late October, 1983. The feature was a science fiction movie called Horror Planet (this movie was originally released in the UK in 1981 as Inseminoid.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 4, 2016 at 3:57 am

Alterations to the Rice Theatre in 1954, most likely related to the installation of CinemaScope, were designed by Lake Charles architect John M. Gabriel.

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